Lake Country man caught masturbating near kids park acquitted of indecent exhibition - InfoNews

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Lake Country man caught masturbating near kids park acquitted of indecent exhibition

John Allan admitted to masturbating in his parked car near the Lake Country Splash Park.
April 18, 2019 - 12:23 PM

KELOWNA - Barry Anderson claimed he saw John Allan fondling himself in a car near a Lake Country park full of children nearly two years ago. Allan admitted he was touching himself, but said he was looking at pictures of his girlfriend. Judge Marguerite Shaw didn't know which story to believe, so she had no choice but to acquit Allan.

John Charles Allan, 66, appeared in person at the Kelowna courthouse on April 18 for the decision in his case. Allan was charged with indecent exhibition in a public place stemming from an incident at the Lake Country Splash Park in the summer of 2017. Judge Meg Shaw read her decision and outlined the key elements of the case.

At the trial last month, Barry Anderson testified he visited the Splash Park with his family on June 20, 2017. He spotted Allan sitting in his car parked at a nearby lot. As Anderson passed the car, he saw Allan fondling himself while holding his phone on the steering wheel. Anderson also claimed he saw Allan's genital area on the phone. There were several children at the park at this time.

Anderson grabbed Allan and repeatedly punched him, taking away his car keys and calling for the police. He asked if Allan was a pedophile, which Allan denied. Officers arrived at the scene and took Allan to the Lake Country RCMP detachment. Allan sustained injuries, but he declined to give a statement about the incident, essentially frustrating any criminal investigation against Anderson, who was never charged with assault. Photos of Allan and his car, as well as an explanation of the incident, were also immediately posted to Facebook. 

At the trial, Allan did not dispute that he was masturbating, but he said he was looking at photos of his naked girlfriend on his phone. Police confirmed that several photos of a naked woman were on Allan's phone; furthermore, there were no pictures of the park on the phone.

Judge Shaw said one of the major disagreements between Anderson and Allan was over whether Allan's genitals were exposed. Anderson said he saw Allan's genitals reflected in the phone, while Allan said he took care to cover his lap with a golf shirt while he fondled himself.

Judge Shaw noted that if Allan was covering his lap with a shirt while in his car, the "openness" of his masturbation could be disputed. The Criminal Code details that anyone who openly exposes or exhibits themselves in a public space can be charged with indecent exhibition. Allan's shirt would have thrown the openness of his actions into question.

Judge Shaw said Allan and Anderson offered conflicting versions of the events and she didn't know which testimony to believe; as such, she had to acquit Allan of the charge.

John Charles Allan, pictured here, has been acquitted with committing an indecent act on himself while near the Lake Country water park on June 20, 2017.
John Charles Allan, pictured here, has been acquitted with committing an indecent act on himself while near the Lake Country water park on June 20, 2017.
Image Credit: Facebook

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